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Periodic Report Summary 2 - TRANSMANGO (Assessment of the impact of drivers of change on Europe's food and nutrition security)

Project Context and Objectives:
TRANSMANGO will offer an evaluation of the vulnerability and resilience of current and future European food systems at different levels, and will identify directions for European policies that aim to tackle these multiple challenges. The focus of TRANSMANGO is on the structures and dynamics that will likely characterize the food system in the future, and that will be identified through the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders and the adoption of a systemic approach. TRANSMANGO will move beyond the state-of-the-art in three ways. First, it will progress the FNS debate by addressing the shift from a ‘traditional’ analysis of FNS into ‘new’ and more systemic FNS approaches. Second, it will develop novel ways of systems modelling that are capable of capturing the vast empirical diversity of securities, vulnerabilities and sovereignties around food in Europe and beyond. Third, it will integrate new modelling approaches, such as Fuzzy Cognitive Maps, into existing transition theory to enable a better assessment of FNS vulnerabilities at different scales.
TRANSMANGO will offer an evaluation of the vulnerability and resilience of current and future European food systems at different levels, and will identify directions for European policies that aim to tackle these multiple challenges. The focus of TRANSMANGO is on the structures and dynamics that will likely characterize the food system in the future, and that will be identified through the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders and the adoption of a systemic approach.

Objective 1: To design an integrated conceptual framework around FNS that encompasses the food system as a whole - from EU consumers to global ecosystems.
Objective 2: To develop new system modelling approaches to capture the vast empirical diversity of food securities, vulnerabilities and sovereignties.
Objective 3: To improve the assessment of food system vulnerabilities through three specific initiatives.
Objective 4: To generate a comprehensive picture of the effects of global drivers of change on the European food system.
Objective 5: To formulate recommendations for EU policy makers in order to promote social innovation that contributes to medium- and long-term FNS.
Objective 6: To disseminate findings amongst a broad range of different stakeholders, including industrial key players in the EU food system, small-scale producers and the third sector.

Project Results:
WP2
Task 2.1 Development of the conceptual framework (completed)
Task 2.2 Development of a methodology for media analysis on FNS and food system vulnerabilities (completed)
Task 2.3 National level desk based research (completed)
Task 2.4 Stakeholders’ survey (ongoing)
Task 2.5 EU media analysis on food and nutrition security (completed)
Task 2.6: Development of a food vulnerability matrix (ongoing)
WP2 Deliverables, milestones and clearly significant results
• D2.3 Stakeholder Survey Report
• D2.5 NxM matrix on the multidimensionality of vulnerabilities and their drivers
• MS12 Approval of the WP2 report by the Consortium
WP3
Task 3.1 Reviewing the current state of futures methods applied to the EU food system and its current links to policy (ongoing)
Task 3.2 Explorative scenarios: challenges and opportunities in future food systems (ongoing)
Task 3.3 Transition pathways to desired food system configurations (ongoing)
WP3 Deliverables, milestones and clearly significant results
• D3.1 Analysis of current use of futures methodology in EU food policy
• D3.2 Scenarios methodology framework and training guide
• D3.3 Transition pathways methodology framework and training guide
• D3.4 Synthesis report
• MS13 Training of EU level and local facilitators in multi-actor scenario development
• MS14 Presentation of WP3 results
WP4
Task 4.1 Quantifying the effects of global drivers of change on European and global food demand and production for explorative scenarios (completed)
Task 4.2 Review modelling approaches based on stakeholder inputs (completed)
Task 4.3 Modelling new FNS aspects based on stakeholder inputs (ongoing)
Task 4.4: Quantifying the effects of TRANSMANGO transition pathways on European and global food demand and production (ongoing)
Deliverables WP4
• D4.1: Report on the quantified TRANSMANGO scenarios
• D4.2: Review of modelling capacities of current models using TRANSMANGO stakeholder modelling outputs
WP5
Task 5.1 Identification of global drivers of the food system affecting EU food and nutrition security (completed)
Task 5.2 EU level case studies (completed)
Task 5.3 Multi-stakeholder models: explorative scenarios of the EU food system (completed)
Task 5.4 Multi-stakeholder models: potential transition pathways (ongoing)
Task 5.5: Synthesis report (ongoing)
WP5 Deliverables, milestones and clearly significant results
• D5.1 Report on Delphi Method
• D5.2 Report on EU Case studies
• D5.3 Explorative EU Scenarios
WP6
Task 6.1. Developing guidelines for the selection of case studies (completed).
Task 6.2 Selection of 10 case studies (completed)
Task 6.3: In-depth case study analysis (completed)
Task 6.4 Explorative local-level scenarios through multi-stakeholder modelling (ongoing)
WP6 Deliverables, milestones and clearly significant results
• D6.2 Individual case study reports
• D6.3 Individual workshop reports
• D6.4 Syntheses report on FNS pathway-specific drivers, potentials and vulnerabilities
• MS18 Meeting with stakeholders to develop explorative scenarios
• MS19 Meeting with stakeholders to develop transition pathways
WP7
Task 7.1: Recommendations for policy makers (ongoing)
Task 7.2: Recommendations for (private) stakeholders in the European food chain (ongoing)
Task 7.3: Roadmap on research priorities (ongoing)
WP8
Task 8.1: Platform for internal and external communication (completed)
Task 8.2: Dissemination to policy makers (ongoing)
Task 8.3: Dissemination to the scientific audience (ongoing)
Task 8.4: Communication to a broader audience (ongoing)

Potential Impact:
Impact is expected on four key domains: (1) European value added through the development of a single conceptual framework? (2) identify policy responses to address current dysfunctional food systems, (3) outline direction in which social and technological innovation has to be challenged in order to arrive at the desired innovation in food consumption patterns and behaviour and (4) draw guidelines for business models and legal frameworks and formulate the role and management and ways to mobilise these in times of need or for crises prevention. Below, we detail on how the expected impact on these four items is incorporated in the project’s activities.

FNS is a domain of interest to various stakeholders in the EU. Nevertheless, FNS as well as food system vulnerabilities are variously defined and understood depending very often on the perspectives of those involved and, depending on the national or regional context. Although the stakeholders focus on different dimensions of the concept, it is necessary to start from a common conceptual framework that addresses all involved in the system, from consumer to ecosystem. This framework will be one of the key outcomes of TRANSMANGO.

Policy responses addressing dysfunctional food systems. The response to EU policy making is reflected in two approaches of the project. On the one hand, TRANSMANGO critically analyses the interaction between scientific research and policy-making as such. TRANSMANGO aims at answering the following questions. To what extent are certain types of futures methods actually dominating policy guidance across jurisdictional levels in the EU? How do current futures methods link to policy at an EU level, at national levels and sub-national levels? How did certain types of futures work gain prominence with regard to policy guidance? What are the benefits and drawbacks of this prominence? What insights does this review generate regarding the need to include other types of futures methods, and other conceptions of current and future food systems? On the other hand, the project will focus on specific EU policy domains. The results will have an impact on the following Directorate Generals: DG AGRI, DG SANTE, DG EAC, DG DEVCO, DG EMPL, DG ENV, DG REGIO, DG RTD, the JRC and the EAHC.

Also, the project results can be used as a direct input for the “Societal Challenge 2” on Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and the Bio-Economy – Horizon 2020 Regulation. Finally, the project can contribute to the goals of the European Innovation Partnership on Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability.

Impact on social and technological innovation is realised at three levels: through (1) the impact on several EU policy domains, in particular DG Research & innovation and DG Agriculture & Rural Development; (2) the close cooperation with stakeholders, both in the public and the private sector with representation in the External Expert Advisory Board, and (3) through the design of alternative transition pathways. One of the key goals of the project is to translate the results into policy recommendations that enhance social and technological innovation in order to arrive at desirable innovation in food consumption patterns and behaviour. The structure of the project management and the relatively high weight that is given to the case studies, the consortium will be able to value the power of different types of social and technological innovations. The design of alternative transition pathways allows to reflect on social and technological innovations and their strength in contributing to a more resilient, equitable, healthy and sustainable food system.

Based on the policy analyses and the case studies, recommendations will be developed with respect to the development of new business models and legal frameworks. Quantitative analysis allow to evaluate the role and management of real grain stock reserves and ways to mobilise them in times of need.

As outlined in the state of the art, the research builds on existing projects and is closely related to on-going research, in which several partners are involved. A transparent communication of the project’s progress will not only enhance the dissemination of TRANSMANGO but also enforces the dissemination of other research groups.

The project aims to reach a broad audience, from policy makers, scientists and key stakeholders to final consumers and producers. The impact on the broad audience is twofold. First, the project wants to contribute to the overall literacy of the broad audience concerning FNS and its implications in an European context. Second, the results of the project will be translated in terms of actions for the broad audience.

List of Websites:
www.transmango.eu

Reported by

KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT LEUVEN
Belgium
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